The Daily Word of Righteousness

Suffering and Glory, #7

And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)

We cannot possess our inheritance at the present time because we are dwelling in a sin-filled, corruptible, weak physical body. When we are clothed with our body of righteousness and life we will be able to possess the earth and its peoples as God has ordained.

Why is God forming Christ in our inner man?

So we may be clothed with a body suited to our calling as sons of God. God cannot invest us with a body like that of the Lord Jesus Christ when our inner man is disobedient, sinful, fearful, unbelieving, impatient, self-centered, prone to worshiping idols.

There are halfhearted, nominal Christians who believe that God intends to take them to Heaven in a "rapture" so they will not be harmed by tribulation. Then He will invest them (they imagine) with authority and power as His kings and priests that they may govern the nations of the earth.

They have never turned away from the world, taken up their cross, and followed the Lord Jesus in stern obedience to God. Their pastors and teachers have flattered and sought favor with them in order to gain their material support.

Such believers are ignorant of spiritual realities, of the laws of cause and effect that are unchanging. It is only as we suffer that we reign with Christ. It is tribulation that brings us down to death, providing the opportunity for resurrection life to strengthen our inner man and also fashion our body of life before the Throne of God in Heaven.

If God were to clothe a halfhearted Christian with a body of eternal power while that person is yet unformed by the rigorous trials of the wholly dedicated disciple, the result would be an unbalanced creature who would be a danger to himself and to those about him.

Only the victorious saints will take the Kingdom at the first resurrection (Revelation 20:6).

What has God given us while we yet are in a physical body?

A foretaste ("earnest; pledge") of the Holy Spirit as the guarantee that we belong to God and will not be found spiritually naked in the Day of the Lord.

What was Paul's confidence?

Paul realized that although he was temporarily separated from the Lord because of his flesh and blood existence he possessed a house of eternal life, a weight of exceedingly great glory, before the Throne of God in Heaven.

How does the Christian walk?

By faith. The righteous live by faith.

Our life is spent beholding what is invisible. The Gospel of Christ is a vision of the future. We are saved by hope—the hope of the glory to come with the return of our Lord from Heaven. We are able to endure all things because we are seeing Him who is invisible. One day we will be eternally alive and our hoped-for city will exist in solid reality on the earth.

What thought gives the saint pleasure?

That of being absent from his flesh and blood existence and at home with the Lord Jesus.

What is our ambition, and toward what end do we labor?

That whether we are at home with the Lord or absent from the Lord we may be pleasing to Him. (from A Study Guide for the Book of Second Corinthians)